An enthusiastic and forward-thinking Carmarthenshire primary school (South Wales) has taken steps to increase its ‘entrepreneurial learning’ curriculum content through engagement in the ‘EntreCompEdu’ pilot, the Erasmus+ funded skills framework that aims to build educator creative and entrepreneurial mindsets.
Identifying the value of entrepreneurship education, Dafen Primary School Head Teacher, Mrs Iolan Greville with full support of the School Governors, has taken advantage of the EntreCompEdu project pilot to map entrepreneurial competence to the new ‘Curriculum for Wales 2022’ core purposes.
“Entrepreneurship education clearly releases pupil creativity and innovation, and facilitates the development of the ability and willingness to create different types of value in society” said Mrs Greville,”which is of timely benefit to us, as we work to implement a new Curriculum that places emphasis on the development of ethical, informed, enterprising, creative contributors”.
Following introduction sessions on the concept of Entrepreneurial Learning, and its application in pedagogy and practice, teaching staff including teaching assistants explored the EntreComp (Entrepreneurial Competence) framework, converting each competence into their own words and terminology, “a useful means to decode and gain confidence with entrepreneurial language” expressed Miss Singleton, Foundation Phase.
“Already staff are motivated by how much creativity and innovation they can capture and build upon, from our outgoing curriculum, thus celebrating what we already do well whilst working on new skills challenges” shared Mrs Greville.
Mrs. Muldoon, Early Years, commented on the positive focus of entrepreneurial learning that “leverages the high levels of innate curiosity that young children bring into the education system”.
In preparation to progress through the five EntreCompEdu online CPD modules, staff immersed themselves in activities to familiarize themselves with the full suite of entrepreneurial competences, and idea-storm different value creation activities that could be embedded in the classroom.
The 5 online modules staff can now access house a breadth of articles, blogs and websites on entrepreneurial learning, to support the development and experimentation of new practical learning activities for their own contexts. There are also opportunities for staff to engage in critical reflection on their teaching practice, curating examples of their own teaching and activities to date. Staff can also contribute to an open forum feed to share ideas or best practices with other educators.
Michelle Davies, Key Stage 2, added “We were introduced to Entrecomp and Entrepreneurial Learning in a primary school context. Key takeaways for me was the advantages of a reflective and experiential pedagogy, and that entrepreneurial learning, tapping into creative experimentation, is not purely focused on financial or enterprise activity, but opens up much broader value creation that includes the cultural and the social”.
Staff will be able to continue their CPD and curriculum planning using the online EntreCompEdu training modules, even in the current period of self-isolation. Welsh-based educators have recognised that an entrepreneurial learning approach to curriculum design will help them target and unlock the ‘creativity and innovation’, ‘critical thinking and problem-solving’, ‘personal effectiveness’, and ‘planning and organising’ potential of their learners, as expressed in the new Curriculum for Wales 2022.
Author: Felicity Healey-Benson